While I was visiting my family in Borrego Springs, my dad offered up his tour-guiding services of the Salton Sea and surrounding areas, just a short drive from where they live. He volunteers his time giving tours of the fringe towns that time forgot. I have always wanted to visit these places. It was everything, and nothing, of what I expected. The Salton Sea is so much larger than I had envisioned. Strange dilapidated towns surround. It truly is the land that time forgot.
The highlight of the trip was getting to visit Salvation Mountain, and the adjacent Slab City. They have long been on my list of places I have wanted to visit. Salvation Mountain is located in Niland. A folk art installation that covers a hill made from adobe, straw bails, and thousands of gallons of paint. The brainchild of local resident, outsider artist, and God enthusiast Leonard Knight. The project was started in 1985.
While, I am not myself a God enthusiast, Knights vision and dedication to it is truly remarkable. The scale, artisanship, and burst of color in an otherwise colorless landscape is something to behold.
Knights health is in decline. There is concern for the future of this piece of history. When I was there, there was a flash flood the day before, leaving much of this incredible work destroyed. Volunteers and donations of paint, or time, are always welcome. You can find out more on facebook and various sites on the internet.
Slab City is located just down the road, a fringe, off-grid community. It reminds me a lot of the places that are around here. People wanting to live their lives self-sustainabley and outside of society.
Worth a visit if you are ever in the area.